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Providence Friars vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/18/14

Villanova Wildcats (22-3) at Providence Friars (17-9)

College Basketball: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Dunkin Donuts Center)

The Line: Providence Friars +5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports One

The 9th ranked Villanova Wildcats look to get back on track as they visit the Providence Friars Tuesday night at 7PM on Fox Sports One.

Villanova lost for the second time this conference season and once again lost in embarrassing fashion to the Creighton Blue Jays.  The Bluejays only hit 9 threes in this one but Villanova had no answer for Doug McDermott who scored 39 points and dominated the Wildcats in all facets of the game.  James Bell and Jayvaughn Pinkston combined for 33 points but no other Wildcats showed up in this important road contest.  The Villanova defense was also pathetic as they yielded 101 points and allowed Creighton to shoot over 60% from the field and from deep.  In addition, the Bluejays were 90.2% at the line.  Villanova forced just 2 blocks and 1 turnover.  There is no doubt that the Wildcats are one of the best teams in the country but they match up poorly with Creighton and the Bluejays now have the edge in the race for the conference title.

Providence Friars vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/18/14

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Providence got back in the win column with a much needed home victory over DePaul 84-61.  The win got Providence to 7-6 in conference play and allows them to keep in the race for the conference tourney 3 seed.  Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts led the way in this one as Cotton had 22 points and 8 assists and Batts added 15 and 8.  All five Providence starters reached double figures and the Friars also dominated on the glass -- with a 37-30 edge.  Providence converted well at the free throw line as well (22-28 for the game).  If the Friars can pull down a quality win over Nova, they then face two winnable road tests at Seton Hall and Butler that could put them back in the pole position for the 3 seed race.

Villanova has looked strong against most all opponents this season but the Bluejays for some reason have dominated them in all facets.  I like the Wildcats to get back on the winning track here but I expect them to be in for a dogfight with a Providence team that is scrappy at home.  I like Nova to pull away late for the narrow cover and win on the road.

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